A look at life at the intersections of wellness, culture, and current events

Tag: health

Nutrition Basics for Beginning Roller Derby Players

Nutrition Basics for Beginning Roller Derby Players

Hello everyone, I am Octavia Hustler, skater for Angel City Derby! When I’m not on skates, I work as a registered dietitian in Los Angeles. So why am I writing about this? Batty Davis from ACD reached out to me a few weeks ago to […]

From Brunch to Obsession: Bergamot Oranges

From Brunch to Obsession: Bergamot Oranges

Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to have brunch with friends who you haven’t seen in a long time. On a recent Sunday, I did exactly that. Along the way I also found a new flavor that I absolutely love: bergamot oranges. That morning I […]

Docs to Watch: Feel Rich – Health is the New Wealth

Docs to Watch: Feel Rich – Health is the New Wealth

When I talk about looking at the intersections of culture and wellness, this documentary is a prime example of what I mean. Feel Rich – Health is the New Wealth is a new documentary produced by Quincy Jones III that looks at health behaviors within the rap/hip hop community and how it applies to the greater community.

In this documentary, it was illuminating to watch rappers and hip hop artists like Paul Wall, Fat Joe, The Game, Common, and others talk about unhealthy behaviors that are perpetuated within the rap scene that lead to the untimely deaths of loved ones (including a spot about Heavy D) or to their personal health crises. As consumers of music, we often focus on the flashy parts of their lifestyle and the persona that they bring to the stage, then completely forget about the person. This documentary gives a very real view about the hopes, fears, and experiences that rap and hip hop artists have in trying to maintain a (holistically) healthy life.

Public health and sociology topics are also quite prevalent in this film. There are statistics about food deserts, the increased prevalence of non-communicable illnesses (like Type II Diabetes or heart disease) among minorities and children. The development and changes of African American food culture from slavery to the Great Migration to the North and West are also mentioned, and how we (as African Americans) still can maintain our connection to our roots through food and lifestlye.

The underlying message of the documentary is “Health is the new wealth.” The material wealth that is so valued in society is secondary to your own health. Spiritual, mental, and physical health are so valuable and can change your quality of life and how you perceive the world and achieve success. Meditation and self-awareness as a practice is something that is highly recommended through the film- research supports that meditation is beneficial in stress relief and can positively impact your life. Urban gardening can help build community and foster the development of skills that can help you in other aspects of your life.

There’s so much more that’s mentioned in this documentary that I would love to tell you about, but I want you to watch it for yourself. As a nutrition professional who watches many food documentaries, this documentary was distinctly different from others that I’ve watched. There’s no fearmongering, there’s no shaming, and the overall message and advice is positive and about increasing self-worth.

Overall, I loved this documentary!

Check out the trailer below, and if it sounds interesting to you – check out the documentary!

Advice on making a lifestyle instead of a diet

Advice on making a lifestyle instead of a diet

In 2009, Michael Pollan published a book called Food Rules. It’s a relatively short book that has 64 bits of advice on what to eat and how to eat. Some of the advice is useful, depending on what your life circumstances are. Some of the […]

My Size Does Not Determine My Athletic Capabilities

My Size Does Not Determine My Athletic Capabilities

I get two types of responses when I tell people that I do roller derby: “Wow, that’s so awesome! You’re such a badass for doing derby!” Or, “Wait, you do roller derby? But you’re so tiny!” I find it amusing that people assume that my […]

WIRTW: Gulp by Mary Roach

WIRTW: Gulp by Mary Roach

Flatulence, and fistulas, and fecal matter – Oh my!

Last week I read Gulp by Mary Roach, a novel looking at the science of the alimentary canal (aka, the digestive tract). I’ve wanted to read Gulp since seeing her interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart  years ago about the book, but never had the chance. Fortunately, after a little bit of browsing through the public library, I found it!

Photo Credit: Associated Press

While many non-fiction books about human physiology may be dry and at times difficult to understand, Mary Roach takes the reader on a fun and interesting journey through the alimentary canal. Along the way, we visit pet food tasting facilities, a prison, a doctor who believes he figured how Elvis died, and a class for professional olive oil tasting.

Naturally, there is some toilet humor (somewhat hard to avoid considering the topic at hand), but there is a wealth of information that looks into the history of how our common knowledge of the digestive tract came to be. It’s really amazing to see the (sometimes horrifying and obsessive) curiosity and determination of these scientists to learn about (the sometimes disgusting and perplexing) human body.

Bonus – you can learn which gender has the worse farts and approximately how much uh, stuff the colon can fit!

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect for the book going in, but it was definitely worth reading!

Check out Mary Roach’s website for the official summary and links to purchase Gulp here.

For more resources on the alimentary canal, check these out: